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License Plates Now Show Your Support for Israel

‘South Carolina Stands With Israel,’ reads new vanity plate option

Stephanie Butnick
June 10, 2014
(Leonard Zhukovsky /
(Leonard Zhukovsky /

There are a lot of different ways to show your support for various causes. One way that has become improbably popular in the United States is through the messaging on the back of one’s car. With everything from cartoon decals depicting each member of one’s family (plus pets), bumper stickers expressing one’s political views, and vanity license plates displaying one’s ability to quirkily describe oneself in seven characters, our cars have become veritable roving advertisements of our ideals.

Now, South Carolina residents have an additional option when it comes to making a statement with their official state license plates: showing their support for Israel. The Jewish Press reports that the Palmetto State has approved a brand new vanity license plate template with a message signaling a driver’s support for the Jewish state.

By an Act signed into law by Governor Nikki Haley on June 2 and effective immediately, the South Carolina Department of Motor Vehicles is permitted to issue to car owners in South Carolina special license plates. Those special license plates will have the message: “South Carolina Stands With Israel.” The graphic on the plate will have intertwined flags of Israel and South Carolina.

The vanity plates cost $7 each, but the Charleston Chabad is reportedly subsidizing the cost for any interested car owners. It’s unclear, however, who those takers will be. According to the Pew Forum, Jews make up just one percent of South Carolina’s population; Jewish Virtual Library estimated 13,570 Jewish residents in South Carolina in 2012. Evangelical Christians, meanwhile—staunch supporters of Israel—are the largest religious presence in the state, comprising a whopping 45 percent of South Carolina’s population.

Stephanie Butnick is chief strategy officer of Tablet Magazine, co-founder of Tablet Studios, and a host of the Unorthodox podcast.